Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.

We are committed to improving our practices to combat slavery and human trafficking.

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31st July 2017.

Organisational Structure

The University of Bath is a provider of educational and research services within the Higher Education sector. The University of Bath operates primarily from its city of Bath campus in the UK. We currently have c.18,000 students and c.3,000 staff. We have an annual turnover in 2016/17 of c.£264m.

Our Supply Chains

The University’s supply chains are global and complex supporting and reflecting the diverse range of activities carried out through our teaching, research and commercial partnerships. Our procurement expenditure during 2016-2017 can be categorised at a high level under the following categories (the percentage split is indicative):

  • Estates and Construction 43.2%
  • Professional Services 11.2%
  • Laboratory & Medical 9.3%
  • IT & Telecoms 6.6%
  • Utilities 5.8%
  • Janitorial & Security 4.7%
  • Library 4.1%
  • Miscellaneous 4.1%
  • Travel & Transport 3.9%
  • Catering 3.4%
  • Office Supplies & Printing 1.5%
  • Furniture & Furnishings 1.2%
  • Sports 1%

The University has analysed its supply chains and identified potential high-risk categories of expenditure. It acknowledges that the main categories that carry a risk include food and drink; construction related services and materials; IT equipment and electrical goods; and other manufactured products such as furniture, lab equipment, textiles and tools.

Our Policies

The University is committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. In light of the obligation to report on measures to ensure that all parts of our business and supply chain are slavery-free, we have reviewed relevant workplace policies and procedures to assess their effectiveness in identifying and tackling modern slavery issues.

Our workplace policies and procedures demonstrate our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains.

Due Diligence Processes for Slavery and Human Trafficking

As part of our initiative to identify and mitigate risk we have systems and processes in place to:

  • Identify when potential proposed future suppliers may operate within potentially high-risk supply chains.
  • Work with relevant purchasing consortia to support their approach to tackling modern slavery within supply chains that are relevant to our purchasing profile.
  • Introduce new contractual clauses that require compliance with anti-slavery measures for new suppliers where appropriate.
  • Monitor potential risk areas in our supply chains.
  • Protect whistleblowers.


To ensure an awareness and understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and our business, the University has provided various briefings to key staff including, but not limited to, all staff working within the University’s Purchasing Services team and members of the Vice-Chancellor’s Group.

Further Steps

The University will continue to review its working practices to ensure that the risks associated with modern slavery and human trafficking are managed effectively. It will review and learn from best practice in the sector and wider industry, and will explore working with partner organisations that can help the University identify and manage risk appropriately.

Thomas Sheppard, Chair of Council 16 January 2018